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Program II
by Raymond M. Koehler

Passer (Catullus 2)

The very crickets interrupt their love songs to hear Catullus’ address of his beloved’s pet sparrow, sung to the simple accompaniment of guitar. The play of vowel sounds interweaves the scree-ee-eetching of the sparrow, teased by the girl (quicum … qu’ in sinu … cui primum … appetenti … acris … nitenti … iocari) with the yearning "ahs" and "ayes" of the poet. Now onli is "-a" the startled cry of pain at being bitten (ap-petenti), and woeful contemplation (acris), but also the sound of comfort in sol-a-ciolum and ac-quiescat. The poem itself can be summer up by its polysyllables – appententi, desideria, solaciolum, and acquiescat, and by the final emphatic position of tristiscuras.

Catullus Poems Latin Text English Translation
Poem 2 Text Translation

Artwork of Poem 2 by Ruth Breindel's students

  • Poem II image for Poem II


Quaeris quot (Catullus 7) << Table of Contents >> Lugete O Veneres

Inside Connection

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Roots of English: an Etymological Dictionary

Maecenas: Images of Ancient Greece and Rome

Sport & Daily Life in the Roman World

Knowledge Builders
Aphrodite (Venus) and more.

Teachers' Companions
Aphrodite (Venus) and more.

Other Resources
Notes on the Meter of Catullus

Catullus Web Site

Global Glossary Terms
- Catullus
- Sappho
- meter
- kithara
- genre
- imagery

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